In this delightful chat with Emily Taylor, the principal of teenyBIG.com, the focus is on strategic planning pitfalls and the need to approach planning differently. Emily’s expertise lies in strategic listening to help organizations make informed decisions and progress on their growth trajectory by providing a fresh perspective on planning, community listening, adaptability, and thoughtful decision-making.

Emily emphasizes the importance of listening to the community to gain clarity and make informed decisions, saying, “I hope organizations get clarity, and a lot of that is through listening to their community.”, underscoring the significance of community feedback in shaping an organization’s strategy.

She also highlights a crucial distinction, stating, “What we should do versus what we feel like we should do.” This differentiation between perceived obligations and genuine organizational needs is a key consideration when navigating the complexities of strategic planning.

Throughout the conversation, Emily addresses the challenges faced by nonprofits, the need for a reset in organizations, and the importance of aligning staff and boards to avoid “decision-making quicksand”. She emphasizes the value of taking a step back before diving into a strategic plan, especially in times of change and turmoil.

Emily encourages organizations to consider alternative approaches to traditional strategic planning, such as customized solutions that may not involve a lengthy strategic plan document. She also discusses the importance of aligning with funders’ expectations while finding the right approach for the organization’s unique needs.